By Simon Evans
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - England's Premier League is launching an esports competition, allowing fans to compete on behalf of their club at the popular 'FIFA' video game.
The league is collaborating with Electronic Arts, the producer of the FIFA game, and esports tournament organisers Gfinity will operate the league.
All 20 Premier League clubs will have a live playoff round, giving two competitors, one for PlayStation 4 and one for Xbox One, a chance to advance to the ePremier League (ePL) Final.
The final of the ePL will be held in London on March 28-29 and will be broadcast on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
"We know that millions of fans play FIFA and this new esports competition will provide our clubs with an exciting opportunity to engage with them," said Richard Masters, Premier League Managing Director.
Germany's Bundesliga has also launched a league in collaboration with EA and other sports, such as Formula One, have also crossed over into esports.
"Having the most popular football league in the world commit to competitive gaming in this expansive fashion we believe only accelerates the community’s enthusiasm for both FIFA Competitive Gaming and the Premier League," said Brent Koning, EA Sports FIFA Competitive Gaming commissioner.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Edting by Toby Davis)